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What We Know About DIRECTV NOW

While this is a self contained blog post, I cover this topic in the October 12th, 2016 episode of Grounded Reason Podcast.

Update: The information in this article is superseded by this article on DirecTV Now.

In 2015, AT&T acquired satellite TV provider DirectTV. Since that time, AT&T has been phasing out their U-verse product. Instead, the company has been bundling AT&T Internet and phone with its newly acquired DirectTV satellite TV service.

If you currently have U-Verse, AT&T is still supporting that product. However, AT&T is directing new customers toward their DirectTV offering. This appears to be in preparation for AT&Ts new streaming service DirectTV Now. Not only with DirectTV now compete with Sling TV and PlayStation Vue, but plans a robust channel offering to rival most cable TV subscriptions.

What is DirectTV Now

DirectTV Now is one of the most ambitious TV streaming services announced thus far. AT&T claims the service would release by the end of this year. The goal is to have 100 channels live streaming at launch. At a recent conference, AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson stated that AT&T was “90 percent there” concerning their content distribution goals.

Direct TV now looks to be a full cable-like service delivered fully over internet, eliminating the needs for a cable box or satellite Dish. Furthermore, AT&T indicating DirectTV Now will be the primary TV delivery service offered by AT&T.

Additionally, AT&T plans to allow AT&T mobile customers to stream unlimited DirectTV Now content without it counting against their monthly data plan. The service will allow one or possibly two streams simultaneously.

Industry analysts originally stated the price will likely be somewhere between $50 and $55 dollars per month, claiming a single digit margin for AT&T. However, on Oct 25th it was announced the service would cost consumers only $35 per month. According to Stephenson, AT&T can afford to price DirectTV Now much cheaper than it’s satellite offering due to it’s lack of costs for equipment and on site installation.

DirectTV Now Channels

As AT&T has been working with various content creators to achieve their channel distribution goal, news of these deals have been slipping into the media. Thus far, we know of these channels.

  • A deal with Viacom will provide access to Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, MTV, VH1, Spike, BET, CMT, TV Land, Nick at Nite, Nick Jr. and Logo.
  • Disney is also on board with the new service making channels like ABC, ESPN, and various other Disney channels available.
  • A deal with Turner with bring CNN, TBS, TNT and other.
  • AT&T inked a deal with A&E bringing, A&E, Lifetime, History, LMN, FYI, and Viceland into the fold.
  • HBO, Starz, Encore, and Cinemax will be available on the service
  • NBC Universal will bring NBC, CNBC, USA Network and Bravo, among others.
  • Various Discovery owned networks have also joined the DirectTV Now initial lineup.

This list of channels will update, as information becomes available.

Is DirectTV Now Worth It

While that question is hard to answer due to the lack of information, one thing is definite. This will be a replacement for cable TV delivered over the Internet. However, with analyst predicting a price point around $50, the price is not much better than cable. In fact, it could be much worse, depending on the number of simultaneous streams that are offered.

Adding the cost of internet access puts the price over $100 per month. Here are some things I think need to happen to make this service worth having.

  • At least two simultaneous streams, but three would be ideal.
  • A Cloud DVR service
  • No Contract
  • Provide an option to add NFL Sunday Ticket

I will be keeping an eye out as this story develops and will update information as it’s available.

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Categories: Streaming Services
Dennis Restauro :Dennis is the founder of Grounded Reason. He also hosts the Grounded Reason Podcast. Follow him on Twitter: Follow Dennis on Twitter

View Comments (6)

  • Dennis, without Fox News and Fox business, Direct TV Now is a non-starter! Those of us who are Fox News fans, and who cut the cord early, discovered that looking at recorded channels the next day (with Sling) did not satisfy. I moved to PS Vue, and although I am still paying $10 more per month because of their stupid IP Address thing, I will not change to Direct TV Now and pay more, even if they add Fox news. I still do not need a "Cable Alternative" with 100 channels, many of which I would never watch. I think they are making a mistake to not offer a "Slimmed Down" version. Just my 2 cents.

    • I'm with you Akela. However, I'm pretty sure Direct TV will lock up deals with Fox and CBS before launch. If they don't they will be dead in the water at that price. It's funny. In the podcast I did on Direct TV now, I pretty much said exactly when it comes to paying for only the content you need.

  • Hello Dennis,Well I cut the cable and we love it.
    Bought an open box sky 60 from Mohu (actually labeled air 60)
    In addition we added the 40 Channel Sling TV $25 subscription because we have a condo in FL. and a camper in CT where we plan to use sling.
    We were already an Amazon prime customer.
    my zip code is 01520 in Holden MA.
    Here is my problem
    We mounted the antenna at the peak of our single story ranch about 15 feet in the air.
    we are have problems with our NBC channel 7.1 WHDH dropping in and out. According to the analysis this should be one of the stronger channels It appears to happen when it gets a little breezy.
    My question is that even though it is an air 60 should we try rotating the attenna.
    Any suggestions would help since this is one of the main channels we watch.

    • I would try facing the antenna directly West. While it's omnidirectional I've noticed facing the antenna at harder to receive channels does help. It's odd that you are having issues with that one station. It has decent signal.